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The power of together

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bringing more technologies into the car is all well and good. The real goal, however, is to integrate them in a way that genuinely improves the driving experience.

Can we all agree that ‘synergy’ has become one of the most misused and overused words in the English language? In the pantheon of verbal chestnuts, synergy holds a place of honor, surpassed only by ‘best practices’ and ‘paradigm shift’.

Mind you, you can’t blame people for invoking the word so often. Because, as we all know, the real value in things often comes from their interaction — the moment they stop acting alone and start working in concert. The classic example is water, yeast, and flour, a combination that yields something far more flavorful than its constituent parts. I am speaking, of course, of bread.

Automakers get this principle. Case in point: adaptive cruise control, which takes a decades-old concept — conventional cruise control — and marries it with advances in radar sensors and digital signal processing. The result is something that doesn’t simply maintain a constant speed, but can help reduce accidents and, according to some research, traffic jams.

At QNX Software Systems, we also take this principle to heart. For example, read my recent post on the architecture of the QNX CAR Platform and you’ll see that we consciously designed the platform to help things work together. In fact, the platform's ability to integrate numerous technologies, in a seamless and concurrent fashion, is arguably its most salient quality.

This ability to blend disparate technologies into a collaborative whole isn't just a gee-whiz feature. Rather, it is critical to enabling the continued evolution and success of the connected car. Because it’s not enough to have smartphone connectivity. Or cloud connectivity. Or digital instrument clusters. Or any number of ADAS features, from collision warnings to autonomous braking. The real magic, and real value to the consumer, occurs when some or all of these come together to create something greater than the sum of the parts.

Simply put, it's all about the — dare I say it? — synergy that thoughtful integration can offer.

At CES this year, we will explore the potential of integration and demonstrate the unexpected value it can bring. The story begins on the QNX website.

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